THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2016
From July 11-20, 2016, the first High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) took place at United Nations Headquarters focussing on the progress being made around the world on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted in 2015. Members of WFUNA’s staff were pleased to participate in many of the sessions and side events, eager to support the process of holding countries accountable for their commitments to the Global Goals and witness the inclusion and participation of civil society.
Bonian Golmohammadi, Secretary-General of WFUNA, was invited to speak at two events hosted by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea in partnership with others, that focused on the implementation of the SDGs in South Korea, and other regions in Asia. The first, the “Role of Korea for Effective Implementation of SDGs,” was an extensive panel of government and civil society representatives reporting on the current progress on the SDGs in their networks. The second, a reception at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea, brought together government and civil society representatives to network and join forces in accomplishing the 2030 Agenda.
WFUNA additionally contributed to two futher events which specifically focused on the role of youth. Bonian Golmohammadi moderated and spoke at a session entitled, “Working with young people towards peaceful and inclusive societies: UN Security Council Resolution 2250 and the SDGs,” highlighting an emerging field of work for WFUNA and indeed the UN system as a whole. Jordan Street, Peace and Disarmament Officer at WFUNA, moderated a panel, “Young People Powering the SDGs”, and noted WFUNA’s work linking youth with Goal 16 within the 2030 Agenda. The two panels were organized in collaboration with UNDP, PBSO, the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, and many partner CSO organizations.
The importance of Goal 16 implementation was highlighted at a number of events. WFUNA’s 16+ Forum was included in the report on Goal 16 partnerships that was released by the NYU Center on International Cooperation and a new Goal 16 data website was launched. Bonian Golmohammadi moderated the “Goal 16 and Open Governance: Workshop for Civil Society Advocacy” event hosted by the TAP Network and the Open Government Partnership (OGP) and WFUNA staff members attented a TAP Network strategy meeting with members who were in NYC, where the future direction of the network was discussed.
Throughout the week there were many calls for increased civil society participation in the follow-up and review process both at the national level as well as during the HLPF itself. We joined 238 civil society organizations in signing a letter to the President of ECOSOC providing concrete suggestions for the future.